President Hakainde Hichilema says his government has set up proper guidelines that will attend to most of the critical issues affecting the people of Zambia in the 2022 National budget.
President Hichilema said the UPND budget will ensure that funds are decentralized to the communities so that Chiefs can assist in attending to projects on the grassroots.
He said government will change the modalities of channeling resources in order to fight corruption so that the funds meant for projects are not mismanaged by those in authority but released for utilisation on projects with the help of traditional leaders, who understand better the needs of the people in their communities.
President Hichilema was speaking yesterday when he paid a courtesy call on Chief Nyamphande of the Nsenga speaking people of Lusangazi district.
And President Hichilema said despite the UPND not finding money in the treasury, the government is working hard to attend to the needs of Zambians in the area of agriculture, water and sanitation, road network, education among other issues.
He also revealed that the previous regime did not buy enough fertilizer to supply to farmers and his government has sourced for funds to procure more inputs so that farmers start receiving in preparation for the 2021-2022 farming season.
The head of state noted that government has bought enough white maize from farmers and has assured those that sold maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) that they will all be paid their money.
“We are going to change a lot of things in our budget to attend to most issues and for now despite not finding money in the country, we have sourced for funds to buy more fertilizer so that our farmers start receiving the inputs,” he said.
President Hichilema further noted that the UPND is still using the PF budget making it difficult to start initiating programs, adding that the 2022 budget will attend to most issues affecting the people of Zambia as it will be utilized in a decentralized manner.
And in response, Chief Nyamphande thanked President Hichilema for the move to start releasing project funds to Chiefdoms as this will assist in attending to more projects than the usual drilling of boreholes, which was being prioritised previously.
The traditional leader also assured the President of the available land ofr development in his area.
The Chief asked the President to ensure a conducive learning environment for all pupils, timely payment of money to farmers, distribution of farming inputs, attending to women and youth empowerment programs and attend to the effects of climate change in the area..
“It’s a good thing that you have thought of decentralisation of funds and this will assist in attending to most projects that have lagged behind in our community and I’m ready to provide land for developmental projects,” he said.
And President Hichilema has thanked the people of Eastern Province for giving the UPND 49 percent votes in the August 2021 General election despite the party not campaigning much as it was not easy to campaign while in the opposition.
He asked people in Lusangazi to vote for the UPND candidate, Fred Banda, in the October 21, 2021 council chairperson election for continuity of developmental projects.
The President was speaking when he addressed hundreds of Lusangazi residents in drumming up support for the UPND candidate at Nyamphande Primary school.